From bad bird toy to good bird toy

Before I started looking into items and toys that were safe for lovebirds, I purchased some toys that had cotton or fabric. Both are not really safe for my adorable Apache, especially if she is on her own. So I took them out of her cage (much to her dismay, she liked them) and decided to look into ways of making them safe for her.

In this post I will show you step by step what you can do with your bird toys to make them safer.

Step 1 - Remove the bad material

As you can see in the images below, Apache had been gnawing on the fabric and it started to fray. After properly studying the toy to see how it was put together, I cut the fabric away.

Bird toy with fabric, wood and bell
Fraying fabric because my bird chewed on it

Step 2 - Selecting the proper rope material

I then bought sisal, jute and hemp rope and looked at what would be the best material that I wanted to use for this particular toy. Eventually I decided to use sisal.

Safe ropes; sisal, jute and hemp
Safe ropes you can use for making bird toys

Step 3 - Add some more fun

The original toy only had strips of fabric, but I decided that having just some rope was rather boring. So I dove into my (half destroyed) bird toy box to see what else I had. In the past I gave her a rope bridge which had bamboo pieces. Apache destroyed the rope, but not the bamboo or wood, so I decided to use those in this new toy.

Bird toy material I had from an old destroyed toyl willow and bamboo.
Willow sticks and bamboo rings

Step 4 - Assembling the toy

After making a few sketches of what I wanted this new toy to look like, with the material I had, I cut the rope into its proper sizes. It felt like doing a primary school crafts project. 

I had to make a few adjustments along the way as it never goes the way you sketch it…

To make sure it doesn’t move around too much I made several large knots so the wood wouldn't slip through. I actually forgot one set of knots, making the big chunk of wood slip down too much. So I used another piece of rope to adjust it to the right height.

Finished DIY bird toy
Finished DIY bird toy.

Step 5 - Putting it in the cage

When I was done, I placed the newly assembled toy in Apache’s cage. This turned out to be bit of a challenge as I wanted to put it back in the position it was before, but my arms couldn’t fully reach it. Eventually, with some effort, I was able to manage.

Updated and now safe bird toy in my bird's cage

Step 6 - Apache’s judgment of the ‘new’ toy

Apache went right for it, not careful at all, like she normally would be when I put new toys in her cage. She ‘wagged’ her tail quite a few times and seemed rather happy with her toy being back even with the new adjustments.

Apache with her updated bird toy
Apache playing with her updated bird toy

Final thoughts

Changing this toy to something safe for my lovebird took less than an hour of work and it was nice to see Apache so happy with her now “new” safe bird toy. 

I think I will probably alter some more of her bird toys in the future.